The National Hockey League is taking steps to protect against abusive behavior as the league continues to cope with controversy.
In addition to giving whistleblowers a new platform, the NHL plans on implementing a new training program directed at addressing diversity and inclusion. The plan was announced shortly after Bill Peters resigned from his position as head coach of the Calgary Flames following accusations of verbal and physical abuse from two former players.
Here is how the plan breaks down, as explained by ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski:
The first is a platform, expected to be a phone hotline, through which inappropriate conduct by team officials can be reported anonymously or with attribution. The hotline is open to current and former team personnel. The majority of accusations made against NHL coaches recently have been by former players.
When asked if the league would offer any protection to whistleblowers who call the hotline, Bettman said “anonymity will be protected,” much like it is for the league’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health hotline.
The NHL also announced that there will be a “mandatory, annual program on counseling, consciousness raising, education and training on diversity and inclusion. The program will be required for all NHL coaches, minor league coaches under NHL contracts, general managers and assistant general managers.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league will not tolerate these types of actions, nor any inaction surrounding verbal and physical abuse.
“Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behavior of any kind,” Bettman said Monday at the league’s board of governors meeting in California.